Okay first things first: How do you get started with this whole indoor herb thing? Well you’ve got to begin with some simple basics.
First, look at your current living space and decide on the best spots where your mini-garden can survive and thrive.
Plants need an ample amount of sunlight, water and air circulation to have the greatest chance of growing from seedling to a full grown bundle of herbal goodness.
For most people, the kitchen is the ideal area and windowsills are typically prime real estate for greenery. Besides those basics, here are some herb growing guidelines to help you get started:
Location, Location, Location: healthy plants typically need 4 to 8 hours of sunlight ideally in a south or southwestern position for the best chance of ample sunlight. If consistent natural light isn’t available, then artificial fluorescent light bulbs are also an option. Room temperatures around 60-70 degrees °F are comfortable for both plants and planter.
Space: are you planning to clip a few leaves here and there or are you building a lush forest of homegrown herbs? By deciding on what your planting goals are, you’ll have a better idea on how to plan your garden setup.
More herbs means more space so if your kitchen won’t fit your ambitions, then you can always utilize more spaces around your home such as small windowsill corners that’s just right for a few small herb containers.
You can also use growing kits to raise plants in areas where there is no natural light or fresh air in locations like your basement.
Types of Herbs: just like an outdoor garden, variety is everything and when it comes to herbs, you’ve got choices. So the types of herbs really depend on what you enjoy eating or even just plain like.
Typically people will think about herbs like mint, basil, parsley, oregano or bay leaves however other varieties like chives, thyme, and even lemongrass are becoming more common in households.
Containers: Clay pots, plastic or metal containers, window boxes, plastic trays, vertical containers…the options are endless. Try to get pots that are 10 inches or greater in diameter and 8 inches deep or more plus go no lower than 6-inch containers.
Also regardless of container types, they should all have proper drainage.
Ingredients: Don’t just go out and dig up some soil from your backyard as it isn’t well suited for indoor gardening plus worms! A combination of premium potting mix, organic fertilizers such as fish emulsion, and additives like perlite soil mix offer a healthy base for roots to thrive. Water – don’t over do it as consistency is key, but let the herbs dry out before re-watering. Too much water can lead to roots that rot.
How often are you planning to use Herbs: typically it takes a few weeks to grow herbs, but how often are you actually going to be using them? Your actual usage will determine a lot of how much your planning to grow or keep around.
So if you’re the type who enjoys eating homegrown herbs regularly, then you’ll want to have an ample supply of indoor herb containers to harvest from to avoid making frequent trips to supermarkets.
How much time do you have: when you take in all these factors of usage, space, location you’ll also have to consider the amount of time invested in nurturing your budding indoor garden.
Great care and attention is needed to have a consistent supply of healthy, fresh herbs while avoiding nasty things like root rot, insects and dying plants. Planting seeds is just the start of your herb growing journey so be prepared to work before reaping those delicious rewards!